Mucin gene (MUC1) transfected dendritic cells as vaccine: results of a phase I/II clinical trial

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2002 Dec;51(11-12):669-73. doi: 10.1007/s00262-002-0317-z. Epub 2002 Oct 19.


Dendritic cells (DC) derived from peripheral blood monocytes are currently being investigated in clinical trials for their role in stimulating the immune system. We performed a phase I/II clinical trial using human autologous DC transfected with cDNA of the human tumor antigen mucin (MUC1) as a vaccine in 10 patients with advanced breast, pancreatic or papillary cancer. After liposomal transfection, flow cytometry testing showed that 2% to 53% of the DC expressed mucin epitopes. Patients were immunized two or three times with 1 million transfected DC injected subcutaneously (s.c.). A vaccine-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction was observed in 3 out of 10 patients. After vaccination, 4 patients showed a 2- to 10-fold increase in the frequency of mucin-specific interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-secreting CD8+ T cells. We demonstrated the feasibility and safety of a vaccine consisting of autologous gene-transfected DC, and that immunologic responses could be induced even in patients with pretreated and advanced disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / etiology
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucin-1 / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Transfection
  • Vaccination


  • Mucin-1
  • Interferon-gamma